Simpoool - I guess it was a buzz word in my campus (Gauhati University Institute of Science and Technology) during my last year of engineering. Simpoool was simple a 5 member (friends) group collaborating together to have a pie in IT outsourced work. NO, its not, here is what it was.
The beginning of 2012. I've always been fascinated by computers since the end of 90s. Grew up as a user first, then pc maintenance guy (windows days) and now a developer. Being a engineering student, like any other student sometimes I was angry for lack of scope. But that always reminded me of "how lucky I am as compared to 2 computer for 150 students during my high school". Never the less how good or bad my college is (this is not the discussion here) I have free access to the greatest resource of the world - The Internet.
Programming was fun for me - breaking down the logic makes me feel like Sherlock Holmes ;)
Am I always going to print *s and solve matrix for the rest of life!!! I need something real.
I put my feet anywhere I like, messing around anything I find interesting. I could feel that most of the software will soon transform to web based - it is still a growing market.
I still don't have any real time experience. Himanshu once suggested if you would like to earn some bucks writing codes. He introduce me to the Scriptlance - now Freelancer.com. I got my first job within 24 hours (its always not that easy, trust me). After first job, finding another employer was easier. Some of my closest buddies knew about it - Subhomoy, Hriday and Joy.
Freelancing means dedicating time and commitment. More works flooded, Himanshu and I could was always in rush to meet the deadline. So, we asked our buddies to come in. They helped as they usual do ;) We were inexperience and unaware of web technologies. We spend most of the time understanding technologies and languages.
Some days latter Himanshu showed us some profile of IT companies. Basically we were looking at $$$. He proposed to form a company so that we can expand. We could deliver at relatively lower price than most of the IT companies in India, so we do have a change to grow. Hriday interrupted:
Why are we doing this - money? We all have different goal set - academics, government job or simple *no idea* :P And even if we do form a company how much time would we be able to devote.
At the end of the day, what ever we do at latter stage of our life we will have to consider money. But right now we don't have anything to lose. Instead if this thing work out we might change our plans to work in our own company.
Till now working together we learned a lot which we won't find in classroom, so I am on it.
The discussion continued. I suggested instead of working for other's product, it would be better if we create our own product. For that we need funding and non of our parents is rich enough to risk investing in us #lol. We concluded, we will try to create some product by the end of our B.Tech life till then for our funding we will do the outsourced works. Thus "SIMPOOOL" was coined by Hriday and somehow SIMPOOOL TEAM was born on February 25, 2012.
I was assigned to manage the team. My task were mostly interaction with clients, designing solutions and make a development plan. Joy and Subhomoy were mainly back-end coder. Hriday and Himanshu the front-end guys. But we were free to move anywhere we like provided his assignment are completed.
We were earning enough money for ourself, but not enough to be rich. Some noticed us for the money we earn and the way we spend (I am good with that :D) Some guys showed eagerness to join the team, but we were selective- Guys we are not running some multi national company, we don't have resource to take risk. We guided those who were willing to devote and commit and more importantly help himself. We were still unsure of how far we might go. I know some guys hate us for this - Someone told me when people starts to hate you, it means you are making progress so just chill :P We feel good to see that some guys tried to stand on their own. Believe me guys we lacked resources to help you out.
We even decided to look for local clients - the experience was worst. Indians don't want to take risk with new guys and low cost is not the only factor. You need a business place to make them believe and a great marketing guy who can run at lightning speed. Idea dropped!
Living at Simpoool
We all were hostel guys (different hostel) except Subhomoy. My room (Madroids) was our HQ. To be in one place we had to pre-plan. Subhomoy was to suffer most when I called for urgent meetings. But during the class break it was a greate meeting point. Being online most of the time was a kind of rule. While working together in a 15'x15' room, find your own space - be it a table, chair, bed or the floor. Canteens were our break time spot and parties were awesome.
We were helping each other in many ways. Hriday even started teaching course work to us, so that we don't fail in our exams. Ahh.. most of the time, I have been harsh to move their ass - quality control ;) Lots of jokes were cracked by Subhomoy which leads to private Facebook status update.
What went wrong
To be frank there are many mistakes we did unknowing and some knowingly. I will only point out which I want you guys to know.
We got diverted: We were suppose to work on our products but we failed. We did designed some app but never turned those to codes. It was also because we were busy with client's work most of the time. We lack time management and could not prioritise our personal projects.
We were not official: We should have registered our company. We could not sort out how to proceed and never knew the process - not even now. Why registration would have changed the game plan? On registration we might have been more committed to future. Also we might have hired some more guys to help us out when needed.
Everyone is on their own way: Time flies by. After graduation we were on pursue of our own career. It was hard to collaborate as our schedules does not match and everyone have to "move on".
Is Simpoool really dead?
Yes but NO. Simpoool was a thought which served its purpose good enough. It was meant to get us experience during our graduation but continued 1 year longer. No doubt we failed in a lot of aspects. I hope Simpoool have encourage some of you guys (my juniors) to make your own day.
Some might think that we have personal issues. There is no war going on among ourself, instead we 5 have much strong bond than before. We made the decision together for another purpose. At least the end of Simpoool will justify it was more than "money". We 5 still work together whenever possible. If you are our previous client don't get worried, we will still serve you. We just won't look for new client until and unless we find it interesting :) We individual still works as freelancer.
Ending the story of Simpoool will give us more freedom to work in our own products ;) All the members of Simpoool may or may not be there and new names might come up in the next new thing. We want to concentrate creating some cool products. At this point I will simple say: It was great feeling to be at Simpoool, let it to be a legend.
To know what comes next follow me @srajbr, Former Team Leader - Simpoool